Southern African Biochemistry and Informatics for Natural Products Network

Because of the great biodiversity of southern Africa, enhanced capacity and capability in natural products research has the potential to increase food security, public health, and value-added exports. SABINA trains African scientists through research in the biochemistry and chemistry of natural products, including bioinformatics as an essential tool for data management and the elucidation of structure and function. Research focuses on increasing the understanding of useful plants (such as mushrooms, seaweeds, and tea crops) or fungi through the screening of assays and through study of biosynthetic pathways, gene expression, modes of action, synthetic production and genetic diversity. Accessing research facilities in the well-equipped institutions in South Africa and acquisition of research equipment and refurbishment of laboratories to support quality and innovative research in the non-South African universities constitute an innovative strengthening initiative.

Updates on Recent SABINA Activities


Get to Know the New SABINA Students! Interviews with Sunette Walter, Kennedy Ngwira, and Tinotenda Shoko

Lydia Kisula (pictured above), a SABINA MSc student from the University of Dar es Salaam, recently completed a 3-month research visit to the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. Her research at Wits was supervised by Professor Charles de Koning (also pictured above). Shortly before leaving Wits, Lydia remarked, "I have learned a lot of synthetic [chemistry] skills, including setting up reactions, carrying out reactions in inert environments, and how to use and interpret data from NMR spectroscopy, among other[s]. It would not have been possible to carry out this work at the University of Dar es Salaam in three months."
SABINA Leaders
Project Manager
Mrs. Jessika Naidoo
Support Scientist, African Centre for Gene Technologies, South Africa
Dr. Mourice Monjerezi, Department of Chemistry
University of Malawi: Chancellor College
Prof. Charles de Koning, Department of Chemistry
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Prof. Martha Kandawa-Schulz, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science
University of Namibia

Dr. Quintino Mgani, Department of Chemistry
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dr. Albert G. Changaya, Director
Tea Research Foundation of Central Africa, Malawi
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